It is a common argument against Christian thought that scripture calls for us to not question God when he does something we do not understand. This can apply to times that God does not save those who are suffering, times in the bible in which Jesus performs miracles that are impossible in the natural physical world, or times when God does not answer prayers. Admitting that there is no way to comprehend God’s means or reasons for doing what he does is an easy way for Christians to come to terms with this cognitive dissonance, but I like to give them the benefit of the doubt. The majority of Christians that I’ve met are not stupid people. Some questionable logic is generally necessary for reconciling various fantastical claims in scripture that can clash with our reasonable, observable conclusions, but it doesn’t stop believers from doing their best to apply logic to these situations.
One attractive feature of Christianity is the way that it can bring comfort to those whose loved ones pass away. Even if you are the one who is in their last days, you can take comfort in the fact that you are about to return home to the arms of your Savior. The only problem with this is . . . it isn’t true.
This week, I did something really insane. I’m in a class about culture, and we had a project which was to give a presentation about our cultural identity. In an attempt to be honest, I stood up in front of the really big classroom and announced that I’m a closet atheist. It was terrifying, but fine because I took into consideration that no one in the class is a very close friend of mine in a relationship that could be potentially jeopardized by this information. I’ve talked before, though, about whether or not I’m ready to come out more at school (actually, if you haven’t read that post yet, I advise that you read it before continuing here, as it will put my situation into much greater perspective). Continue reading “How to Tell Your Friends That You’re an Atheist”
For an ultra-religious family like mine, a combination of putting them all in the same space and giving them an occasion to talk about and celebrate Jesus, well, let’s just say it’s hard for them to talk about anything else. Here’s a play-by-play of an Easter weekend with my crazy Lutheran family.
7:04 p.m. – Attend an hour and a half long Good Friday service.
9:34 p.m. – Listen to Sister and Mother rave about the amazing and moving service and how one song brought them to tears.
Last semester, I took a very terrible (but mandatory) class called Science and Religion. A lot of the class involved bashing atheism and the worldview of naturalism as well as taking Dawkins, Hitchens, and Sagan quotes out of context and pinning the men as proponents of scientism. One big thing that this class got wrong was that it assumed that all atheists are believers in the theory of multiple universes. While this certainly is one hypothesis to explain the complicated naturalist stumbling block of fine tuning and the anthropic principle of the universe, it is just that: a hypothesis, and definitely not one that all atheists believe is true.
You can do no good.
You are not worthy of love.
You should feel guilty for your constant sin.
Everything in your life has been laid out for you and you have no control over it.
Nothing you can say or do can get you into heaven.
There is a lot about Christianity that I don’t understand, from giving up your life in exchange for being spared eternal punishment, to LGBTQ+ discrimination, to not eating meat on Fridays during Lent, to Noah’s Ark. But one of the greatest mysteries to me is prayer. As people grow older, their prayers typically evolve from asking God for what you want to thanking God for what you have and asking him to guide you in the right direction. While the latter appears to be more selfless and appropriate, I can’t help but see it all as just silly.